Poll reform merits a fair trial

In his article “India’s ailing democracy” (April 8), Inder Malhotra offers a pragmatic proposition i.e. a minor reform in our existing electoral law whereby as against the present practice of first-past-the post system, the winning candidate should secure more than 50 per cent of the total votes cast, through more than one round of polling. The suggestion is fair and easy to implement. As a result, only the most deserving candidate will win without considerations of caste, region religion, money or muscle power, political loyalties et al.

The suggestion, if implemented, will rectify the defects in the electoral process such as fractured verdicts, undemocratic practice of choice of candidates by the party high command or the dubious role of so-called supremos and return to power of tainted politicians through the backdoor. The proposal merits a fair trial.

Brig GOBIND SINGH KHIMTA (retd), Shimla




The political parties have failed to act as an instrument of political mobilisation and proper articulation of the people’s demands. Instead, all the political parties have been governed by self-seeking and power-hungry politicians, who, as the writer says, have caused the fragmentation of the Indian political system.

The Manmohan Singh government’s inability to appoint advisers to the Bihar Governor so far and the BJP’s failure to take appropriate action against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi are cases in point.


Fighter race

The editorial “Fighter race” (April 8) very rightly pointed out to the Union government — “Get the Kaveri engine going”. All right thinking people have been saying the same thing about India’s defence industry since 1947.

I don’t know why the Indian leadership has a penchant for buying discarded whiteman’s goods of every sort. Don’t they realise that this old servile habit demoralises the armed forces?

What with Krishna Menon buying World War II weapons which would have ended up in a scrap heap, to the BJP-led NDA purchasing a second hand aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkow from the Russians and the present Congress-led government wanting to purchase used Mirage 2000-5 lying idle in Qatar’s Air Force hangars.

As a Sikh I would recommend arms purchases from France should not be made, as it is a racist and un-secular state that disallows Sikhs from wearing the turban, our historic cultural and 
religious symbol.

SIMRANJIT SINGH MANN, President, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) Quilla S. Harnam Singh (Fatehgarh Sahib)

Victim of Centre’s policies

By and large, the standard of education in Haryana is good. It is better than what prevails in states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. Yet, higher education has been the victim of Centre’s thoughtless policies.

Unfortunately, the Centre has done greatest damage to higher education in the last 30 years by experimenting with the teachers’ condition of service, pay scales, etc. The University Grants Commission’s personal promotion policy, in particular, has compromised the standards of education. It has played havoc with the competitive spirit necessary to bring about quality in education and research.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should evolve a system to ensure the same quality and standards in the universities and other institutions of higher education as in IITs and IIMs.

VINAY KUMAR, former Vice-Chancellor, Choudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar

Rampant corruption

The politicians have corrupted and criminalised our polity. Money and muscle power and not the rule of law and morality are ruling the country. Corruption has crossed all limits. Yet the government seems reluctant to pass stringent laws to curb it.

Ministries are made and unmade by the Governors at the Centre’s bidding. Though men of high integrity and character drafted our Constitution, it needs a total overhaul to cope with the present challenges. But it remains again a million-dollar question — who will do it?



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |